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Questions Answered by Brian Waller
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Modification of child custody and child support

Can I modify child custody and support if I went from 5 overnights to 7 overnights plus taking them till 7 at night 4 other nights? And have my kids all day on Sunday while my ex is at work. Yea he only days. Don’t see them are tuesdays and every other Saturday, other then that they are with m... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 17, 2022

It sounds like you have a good argument for modification. If you think your ex will retaliate, just be sure you really want to kick the hornet's nest. If your kids are doing well with the current arrangement, it may be worth it to suck it up even though you feel she is taking advantage of you.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to file for child support. Do I need a lawyer for that??

Husband left to PR and hasn't given any support to our son, since he left in 2020.

We are living w/some family and can use the help. How long does it take to file for child support? Thank you

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 7, 2022

You would either need to file for divorce or file a Complaint for Separate Support if you do not want to file for divorce.

With either of those, you can file a motion for temporary orders, which would include child support and anything else you would want a judge to address on a temporary...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can wife’s ex-husband just stop paying child support and decide what he’s going to pay? In MA

He said he’s going to stop paying for 21 year old who is going in to her 5th year of full time college. She still resides with us and we pay a 99% of her expenses. He said he’s going to cut child support in half because the have two children. He said he went to lawyer and because he has two new... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 2, 2022

The ex-husband can't unilaterally make changes to child support, no matter the reason. It can only be done via a court order. That court order could be the result of a written agreement by the parties to make changes or from a judge after a hearing, but the ex would be in contempt if he just... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can an unmarried mother of two children request retroactive child support when initially filing for child support?

Seeking retroactive child support back to the date the kids and I moved out. (4-5 years ago). We were never married and he is the father- on the birth certificate of both children.

This is a new child support request. We previously had a verbal agreement for weekly payments that he has not... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 11, 2022

Usually, a retroactive order can only go back as far as the date the opposing party was served with the complaint for child support. If there has never been an order previously, you may have the ability to argue for retroactive support back to the child's date of birth, but it would depend if... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: What can i do is the father violated court orders?

He has supervised visitation at his mother house and his mother is supposed to supervise him on all three days that he has. I texted his mother to confirm to see he was at the home for his visitation but she never text me back i got worried and i check on my daughter ipad location and she wasn’t... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 9, 2022

You should have the police do a wellness check at the grandmother's home and they would document that the child wasn't there. And/or you could also have them do a wellness check at the girlfriend's house to confirm the child is there and who is present. You should also take... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to provide information to my child’s father if he hasn’t been in their life for over 6years?

My child’s father has not been in their life for over 6years. During that time I have had them full time with no help from him in any way. He does not pay any child support. He does call about once a month. Recently he has been asking for their information everything from school/medical records... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 9, 2022

I would just add that if you do return to court, you should ask for child support to be ordered. Even if there is no realistic hope of him ever paying, it may be enough of a deterrent to keep him at a distance. There is no connection between custody and child support, so even if he is ordered to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my child support be modified if my income hasn’t changed?

My child support was modified to increase and I never received a court hearing notice nor has my income changed.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Sep 3, 2021

You should first contact the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division and have them review your account. Sometimes if there is an arrears balance the amount changes. If you have no arrears, it is possible that the timing of the payments got off track somewhere and they needed to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: What if I filed a complaint but no answers have come in and it is 35 days now. What do I do now?
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jun 7, 2021

If you haven't heard anything from the court yet, I would recommend contacting the Register's office and trying to find out if there is a reason it hasn't been processed.

If you have already served the other party, make sure you have returned the summons to the court and...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: If I receive a child support payment that is above the required weekly amount does that mean I need to wait?

He filed bankruptcy so he won't have to pay arrears ($15k+) for like 7yrs. A condition of that is he is required to make each weekly payment($100 -ordered when child was 3 and he's 12 with not one cost of living increase), without fail. Several weeks back, I received an amount over the... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 7, 2021

You should contact MA DOR - Child Support Enforcement Division to confirm, but your ongoing payments should not be impacted by any overpayments if there is an arrears balance. Any overpayment should be applied to the oldest outstanding payment. It is possible he received a tax return that was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I filed for child support online months ago & I still haven’t heard anything or received anything. What’s next?

My daughter is four. Her dad hasn’t paid anything since she was maybe one. Barely sees her. Maybe once a month; some months, never. I’ve never done this before so I don’t know what to do next other than wait. He received something in the mail & did nothing. I still haven’t heard... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 3, 2021

If there was a prior order for child support that the dad isn't following, you could file a Complaint for Contempt. If there was no prior order, you would need to file a Complaint to Establish Paternity or a Complaint for Custody Support and Parenting Time.

You can contact the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my son's biological dad go to court for rights and visitation if he isn't in my son's birth certificate?

He never wanted the baby, then i got married and my husband recognized my son as his own, so legally my husband is my son's dad.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 2, 2021

If by legally you mean that your husband adopted your son and your husband's name is on the birth certificate, I don't think the biological father can do anything because he would have been notified about the adoption. If your husband isn't on the birth certificate then the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I am trying to figure out which state Florida or Mass I will have to go through to end paying child support for my son.

My son is 19 and will be finishing school soon. Child support was started in Florida in 2012 but due there being a paternity file that was started in Massachusetts on 12/2002 the amount of support i pay is based on Massachusetts calculations. So I am not sure if I will need to be going to... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 1, 2021

That is a tough one without looking at the actual order. I would recommend talking to an attorney in Florida if there is an order out of Florida that your child support is based on. It could be that it is enforcing a Massachusetts order, but I think Florida is the right place to start.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to submit hair follicle test without prior drug abuse history? These allegations came from parents of my abuse

Paternal g.parents have temp. Guardianship. They accused me of drug abuse for the first time out of 3 or 4 previous hearings. I have never been in trouble or in treatment for drug abuse. The court ordered hair follicle testing. G. Parents have zero proof. My ex claimed on the day of the assault I... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 28, 2021

If you have no history of drug abuse you should just take the hair follicle and then you eliminate that as an issue that can be used in your case. If you are trying to avoid the hair follicle because of what it will show, then there isn't really much you can do if it was already ordered. If... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to get to visit mY son. And i wanted to know how i could get the ball rolling. What would i have to do ?

Is there a way i can do this or get visits quick and not have to get a lawyer? Or a lawyer is necessary

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 1, 2021

There is nothing in Probate and Family Court that you absolutely need an attorney for, many people represent themselves. In your situation, you may want to speak with an attorney or even DCF (depending on why there are no visits currently) to understand what you can do to get you closer to having... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I had to file contempt for my ex to provide his financial statement. He has yet to do so. What’s the next step for me?

A week has past since the contempt hearing where the judge verbally told him to provide this info to me.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Feb 10, 2021

In my experience, judges don't have a lot of patience for things that aren't a good use of their time, like having a hearing that doesn't accomplish anything because one party hasn't provided info they were supposed to provide. Judges have a lot of discretion in how they handle... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello. Just wondering if a male is issued a summons to appear in court for non payment of allimony and yes it was court

If someone was served to appear in court for non payment of alimony and yes it was court ordered and he does not show can a warrant be issued for his arrest or could the do something with his electrical license?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 13, 2021

If he doesn't appear for court the judge can issue a capias (basically a warrant) to have him brought before the Court by a sheriff. There are a lot of things that could happen as a remedy for the person that was supposed to receive the alimony, like the assignment of wages. Civil contempt... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello I want to go to court to get custody of my dogs and so I can you please advice me on what I should do? Thank you

Hello,

I have a question about two of my dogs. I was with someone for 6 years and after a year in a relationship. He gifted me a dog. I also ended up buying my other dogs. In that relationship every time I tried to leave he would threatened to take both dogs. It took me a while before I... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Dec 23, 2020

Even though dogs are part of the family, this actually isn't a family law issue, it is a property issue. In divorces, pets are handled in the same way as property and divided between the parties in some way. Sometimes there is an every-other-week arrangement like you agreed to previously. When... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it likely judge would rule contempt if nightly call not done as child is older & can call without assistance?

Clause- “while child is of young age and unable to contact other parent without assistance of custodial parent, the parties shall engage in a nightly telephone call to allow the child to allow the child to communicate with noncustodial parent”.

This was implemented when child was 3.... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Oct 30, 2020

It is really hard to say how a judge would decide, but as long as you are making an effort in good faith and the child doesn't want to, there isn't much you can do. It does sound like your daughter has outgrown the way that section of your agreement is worded. You may want to start the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need to attend the meeting before the pretrial conference? MA probate.

Custody battle. I am filing on terms of parental alienation, emotional and physiological abuse. There's a pre trial conference but the other parties lawyer emailed me stating the court requires a meeting beforehand. I don't feel comfortable speaking in this meeting with just myself and... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Aug 10, 2020

The pretrial order you received from the court should explain exactly what you need to do and when. Some judges require the parties to meet at least a week or two before the hearing. If you decline to meet the other party's attorney will likely bring that to the court's attention. This... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need permission from SO’s ex to have a child depending on stipulations in their custody arrangement

They have an agreement that neither party can make a decision in regards to their child without first speaking to other parent and developing an agreement. As having a sibling would effect their child does he and I trying for a child fall under that agreement

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jul 25, 2020

Having another child isn't something you need to have approved by your ex. It never hurts to let them if you have a good relationship, but definitely not required. It sounds like you and your ex share legal custody, which means you have to work together on medical and education decisions, but... Read more »

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